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How Understanding Your Prescription Can Save You Hundreds on Eyeglass Purchases
If you have a basic understanding of prescriptions, you’ll be able to shop smarter and save hundreds of dollars in the process.
Myopia, or myopia, refers to people who have problems seeing distant objects. Opticians use what they call negative lenses to correct nearsightedness. Negative lenses are characterized by thick lenses at the edges and thin centers.
Hyperopia, or farsightedness, are those who cannot focus on near objects. Opticians use positive lenses to correct farsightedness. Positive lenses are thick in the middle and thin at the edges.
Presbyopia, or the Greek word for “senile vision,” usually occurs after the age of forty, as the eye muscles lose their ability to adjust to close-up objects.
Patients with presbyopia are patients who need near and far correction. Bifocal lenses are used to correct this type of eye condition.
Prescriptions are usually written in this format:
spherical cylindrical shaft
Outer diameter -3.25 -1.00 180
OS+0.25 -1.25 85
The above prescription applies to patients with presbyopia.
OD or Oculus Dexter is Latin for right eye and OS or Oculus Sinister is Latin for left eye. DV is distance vision and NV is near vision. The addition refers to the correction required to read.
The first set of numbers, or spherical numbers, represent the correction required for distance, or how much power the lens must have in order for you to see distant objects properly.
The second part or cylinder value corrects for astigmatism. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is shaped more like a football than a basketball.
Because the eyes rotate around a 180-degree axis, the axis portion of the formula represents the meridian that needs to be corrected.
Spectacle lenses are made of one of three materials; they are all made of plastic and have different indexes. Basically, the higher the index, the thinner the material.
CR39 or base plastic is 1.498, Polygon is 1.586, and there are several different types of High Refractive, ranging between 1.53 and 1.74. The higher the index, the thinner, lighter and more expensive the lens.
Polycarbonate is safe, and high index is recommended for people with high prescriptions, such as -5.00 or above. If your prescription is thick, polycarbonate or high-index thinner is the material recommended for you.
Meanwhile, CR-39 or plastic are good options for people who just need basic glasses to read or see far, but don’t want to spend a lot of money. It is for people with low prescriptions. Cr-39 has excellent optical properties, but is thicker than polycarbonate. This is good for people with prescriptions between +2.25 and -3.00. It also works for backup pairs. However, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone with security needs.
For those with safety needs, polycarbonate lenses are recommended. It is ideal for children and those who participate in impact sports and those who need safety glasses in the workplace. Polycarbonate is 40% thinner and 30% lighter than plastic
High-index lenses are the lenses recommended for those with higher prescriptions. It’s the best lens if you want the thinnest and lightest lens possible. Like polycarbonate, they offer 100% protection from harmful UV rays. AR coatings give them optimum optical performance and appearance. Prescriptions of -3.00 to +3.00 and above will appear much thinner in high index lenses.
Anti-reflective coatings help reduce unwanted reflections and help reduce glare and eye strain from displays, as well as glare from oncoming vehicles when driving at night.
Ultraviolet protection (UV) also helps protect the eyes from harmful radiation.
Prescription sunglasses also protect the eyes from harmful radiation while correcting vision.
Those who prefer to wear just one pair indoors and out can opt for photochromic lenses that transform into sunglasses outdoors and back to clear indoors.
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